Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera entered tonight’s season finale against the Royals ranking first in the American League in batting average, homers and runs batted in. And that’s right where he’ll finish.
Cabrera went 0-for-2 with a strikeout on Wednesday night in Kansas City, but he walked off the field to a standing ovation from the Kauffman Stadium crowd when he was lifted as part of a double-switch in the bottom of the fourth inning. Because he had just locked up MLB’s first Triple Crown since 1967.
Cabrera winds up with a .330 batting average, 44 home runs and 139 RBI.
Carl Yastrzemski, the last Triple Crown winner, hit .326 with 44 homers and 121 RBI in his historical year.
The Angels’ Mike Trout will close out 2012 ranking second in batting at .326. Josh Hamilton and Curtis Granderson will wind up tied for second in dingers with 43. And Hamilton finishes second in RBI with 128.
Cabrera and the Tigers now advance to the ALDS, where they’ll take on the A’s beginning Saturday.
Last night the Yankees pasted the Tigers in Detroit, but the hometown crowd did get something entertaining to send them on their way: an inside-the-park homer from Nicholas Castellanos.
At least that’s technically what it was. It would be a single and a three-base error if our official scoring made any sense.
Watch the play below. It’s all put in motion by Jacoby Ellsbury‘s decision to try to make a slide catch on the ball, misjudging it and allowing it to skip over 100 feet to the wall:
Since Ellsbury didn’t touch it it wasn’t called an error — errors are rarely if ever called on poor plays that don’t result in a fielder actually touching the ball — but it was certainly a mental error to not let the ball bounce and ensure that it didn’t get past him. Especially with such a big lead.
Oh well, that’s baseball for you.
The Royals are a game and a half out of the crazy AL Wild Card race — six games back of the Indians in the division — so they don’t have a huge margin for error. They got some bad news last night, though, that could have a major impact on their playoff hopes: closer Kelvin Herrera experienced tightness in his right forearm in the ninth inning of last night’s win, forcing him out of the game.
Herrera walked the bases loaded, then went to a 2-0 count on the next batter before leaving the game. That last pitch was a fastball that clocked in at 91 m.p.h., which is NOT a typical Kelvin Herrera fastball. Herrera didn’t talk after the game but his teammate Sal Perez said that Herrera told him “I’m tight. I don’t feel my forearm.”
Reporters left the clubhouse before an official diagnosis or prognosis could be delivered, so expect an update some time today. If Herrera is out the closer duties could fall to Scott Alexander or Brandon Maurer.